Inside Rushden cannabis factory as man found hiding in the plants

Hundreds of plants were found in the police raid this morning

By Sam Wildman
Friday, 19th June 2020, 12:31 pm
Updated Friday, 19th June 2020, 12:32 pm

A man was found hiding among cannabis plants worth about £150,000 in a police raid in Rushden this morning (Friday).

The Northants Telegraph was given exclusive access after the East Northants police team found the drug farm in Pratt Road at about 8.30am - their fifth find in just two weeks.

After receiving a tip-off from a neighbour and gaining a warrant eight officers descended on the quiet, narrow terraced street, just a stone's throw from AFC Rushden & Diamonds' Hayden Road home.

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Inside the cannabis factory.

And when they burst through the rear door they found a man in his mid-20s hiding in the plants on the ground floor.

He has been arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis and taken into custody.

Sergeant Leigh Francoise Goodwin said: "It's a big issue for us and we have a lot in Rushden.

"No sooner as we shut one down we find the next one to work on.

Inside the cannabis factory.

"It's the work of an organised crime group that are feeding the habits of Rushden and the surrounding area."

In today's discovery between 200 and 300 plants were found across six rooms spanning three floors. Just the kitchen, bathroom and one tiny bedroom were not being used to grow drugs with notes left on the wall, seemingly providing instructions.

The plants, believed to be worth a six-figure sum, were just weeks away from harvest with buds starting to form. It's believed it may have been the plants' second crop.

Those behind the sophisticated operation had bypassed the electricity and the factory will be dismantled throughout the day once it is made safe by Western Power Distribution.

Officers believe it could be linked to modern slavery and they will be investigating whether the man arrested had been brought here under duress to grow the plants.

In the past fortnight the team has also found smaller grow-houses in Raunds and Rushden and a large cannabis factory in Rushden's Park Road, where those responsible placed vinegar in the extractor fans to try and block the overwhelming stench.

Sgt Goodwin said: "This could be well be linked to the one we had last week, it could be the same organised crime group.

"I am sure there's many more in Rushden at the minute and it's thanks to community intelligence that we keep finding them.

"We'd urge anyone who may have information about a cannabis factory to let us know."

Anyone with information or suspicions over possible cannabis factories should contact police on 101.